At first this topic had my mind atwitter; I mean how often does a girl get to write about naked men outside of her bedroom? Not that I believe there’s anything particularly aesthetically pleasing about the male physique below the happy/snail/treasure trail; maybe I’m a sucker for a nice bum, but that’s not what we’re here to discuss. Nor do I spend my private time writing about nude male bodies, and even if I did, you couldn’t prove it.
Given the opportunity to pick famous men I wouldn’t mind seeing naked, I would say: Channing Tatum? Yes, please. Donald Glover? Abso-freaking-lutely. Joseph Gordon Levitt? Please and thank you. John Cho-know-I-would. And, for our older crowd, I’d appreciate a little Benjamin Bratt (pun absolutely intended). Though, discussing this with a colleague, I’ve concluded that while I would enjoy seeing Tatum in the buff under any circumstance, I’d rather see JGL in the sensual privacy of my own home.
The longer I thought about the topic though (we’re talking at least a week of reviewing male nudes here, nothing but the best research for our readers), the more confused I became. We live in a society that fawns over the nude female body – heck, I’ve even blogged about it – but what about the male body? In film, art, television, and billboards, exposed female curves are everywhere, whether in bits and pieces or full on (to the point in which we need to discuss body image with our sisters/daughters/nieces). We’ve all seen Basic Instinct. However, the double standard remains. Is it because men find other male bodies threatening or uncomfortable? Is it the absurd fear of “catching” homosexuality, as if that were even possible? Women make up half of the consumer market – can’t you try and lure us in with the promise of naked men?
I’ve always had the pleasure, or displeasure depending on how you look at it, of male housemates, including growing up with a brother. They were able to openly walk around without shirts and in their underwear, whilst I was discomfited into wearing a bra in my own home. Ladies, help me out, isn’t the most amazing time of day those five seconds after you’ve finally removed your bra? I’ve actually gone so far as to say, “Sorry friend, I can’t come out tonight; I’ve already taken my bra off.” My point being, this is a society that tells women to remain covered or they’ll be slut shamed, but men can wear next to nothing as long as their junk is covered.
Women shouldn’t be ashamed of their bodies or shy about them, and men, get over your ridiculous fear of other naked men. We’re all beautiful, robed or not, and nudity shouldn’t be a topic of exploitation. We’re born nude, why can’t we stay so? Hurry over to the Leopold Museum to see the nude men exhibition through 4 March. Not possible? Rather look at the goods in private? Get your hands on The Story of Men’s Underwear by Shaun Cole or Nudes by Jp. A. Calosse. You won’t be disappointed.
-Le Lorrain Andrews